Have the dean of CLS meet with Prof. Neil Heywood to discuss grading policy & exams

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Dear Doctor Yonke,

As the end of our spring semester rapidly approaches, many students in Professor Neil Heywood’s class are beginning to become very concerned about their grade in Geography 100, Section 1.  This class is a 100-level class, it should be fairly easy for anyone to take, but this is not the case.  On the first page of his syllabus, Prof. Heywood states: “I do draw some exam questions from the text and lab materials, but I focus exams on the topics that I cover in lecture. Quizzes cover lab topics.” This, however, is not the case.  Many (if not most) of the questions on both quizzes and exams are not topics covered in labs or lectures. It is also worth noting that many of his exam and quiz questions are based off tables or graphs that are very difficult to read, sometimes not including a key or any indication for us to tell what we are looking at.  Several of us have contacted Prof. Heywood about his unreasonable exams but have been told (when he does reply) things like we are not thinking critically enough while taking the exam. I find it hard to believe that such a large portion of the class (38.1%) is incapable of achieving as little of a C in the class.

We ask the University to provide a mediator to investigate this and help us come to a resolution with Professor Heywood.  It is unacceptable that 38% of students enrolled in Geography 100, Section 1 are receiving a D or F!


Below is the letter grade composition of our class.  This information is based off data emailed by Professor Heywood to Geography 100-1 Students and is expressed as raw letter grades (the + or - has been dropped). Grades current as of 5/1/2018.  

(Grade, Number of People, % of Class)
A 5 3.90%
B 15 11.9%
C 18 14.29%
D 21 16.67%
F 27 21.43%